Risperdal Information, Side Effects, Gynecomastia and Lawsuits
General Risperdal Information
Risperdal is a psychiatric drug that is used to treat mood disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It can also be helpful in treating some forms of autism. The drug’s chemical name is 3-[2-[4-(6-fluoro-1,2-benzisoxazol-3-yl)1-piperidinyl]ethyl]-6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-2-methyl-4H-pyrido[1,2-a]pyrimidin-4-one, and its molecular formula is C23H27FN4O2. The atypical psychiatric drug has been on the market since its FDA approval in 1993. Since then the drug has become an extremely popular drug in treating mood disorders in both pediatric and adult patients.
Risperdal Side Effects
Like any type of medication, Risperdal does produce side effects. Many of the side effects will disappear after taking the medication for a few weeks or months, but some of the side effects of Risperdal can be very serious and should be reported to a doctor immediately. Here is a list of the more serious side effects of Risperdal.
- High fever,
- Muscle stiffness and weakness,
- Fast or uneven heartbeats,
- Trouble swallowing,
Less serious side effects of Risperdal include:
- Weight gain and fluctuations,
- Feeling hot or cold,
- Dry mouth,
- Cough, sore throat or runny nose,
- Feeling restless or anxious.
Risperdal has been shown to have serious long-lasting complications in some patients. Some of these complications include gynecomastia in men, diabetes, stroke, and substantial weight gain. All of these serious complications can occur when taking the medication normally. Gynecomastia, or male breast growth, has become most common in young boys who take the medication for bipolar disorder, while strokes have become common in older individuals. Since coming on the market in 1993 the drug has gone through many clinical trials to determine risk factors for these serious complications. In 2005 Risperdal was given a Black Box Warning by the FDA to warn older individuals that the drug could increase their risk of death by stroke. In 2006 gynecomastia was determined to be another side effect of the drug in many boys. Even so, Risperdal was approved for use in children 10 and older in 2007 and continues to be a popular antipsychotic medication for certain pediatric patients. The drug has also been found to increase the appetite of its users and cause substantial weight gain. With weight gain the risk of type 2 diabetes also increases and many patients who find it difficult to control their weight on the drug increase their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Current Risperdal Lawsuits
Lawsuits against Risperdal and its maker Johnson and Johnson are rampant across the United States. The majority of the lawsuits are on the behalf of men and adolescent boys who suffered from gynecomastia after taking the antipsychotic drug. Suits claim that the drug was improperly marketed, especially to pediatric doctors. Pediatric suits claim that Johnson and Johnson trained employees to specifically promote Risperdal to pediatricians and give the pediatricians encouraging incentives to prescribe the drug. Lawsuits have brought in the upwards of 300 million dollars to patients nationwide since the drug’s market released date in 1993.